The table at Il Bottaccio is the altar around which the four elements – air, earth, water and fire – celebrate the rites of senses. Il Bottaccio Restaurant and the Relais is the precursor of a formula, which originates from a happy adulteration between high dinning and art. And thus for the fortunate guests of this antique oil mill, it is impossible to distinguish between the two entities and to establish where the restaurant ends and the art gallery begins. Through its refined collection of sculptures, paintings, and furnishings, which represent numerous epochs and styles, Il Bottaccio exalts dinning, making it into something more subtle-a perception, sensation, emotion that nourishes the body and the soul. And it is thus that beauty, rhythm, and poetry add that unique quality to the cuisine of Il Bottaccio that demarcates the establishment’s passage from profession to art.
This two-storey space is dominated by the presence of an antique painting depicting the bathing goddess Diana surprised by hidden onlookers. The huge richly coloured canvas is attributed to a pupil of Titian, Nicolo Bambini. The dark wood furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries are perfectly complemented by the Frau Chesterfields, turn of the century terracotta figures, and modern lighting.
The suggestive “Sala della Piscina” – heart of the Bottaccio complex, houses the main body of the restaurant in a perfect symphony of elements played between the pool lying at the room’s center, the giant wooden trusses flying high above, and the oversized glass and wooden portals marching down both sides. The lush green garden offers a welcome frame and canvas for the many sculptures gracing both the inside and out of this exotic and unforgettable place.
The unique setting of Il Bottaccio, suspended among the sea nearby and the Apuanians Alps, contributes to its original cuisine where the sea flavours combine with the musky aromas of the woods and the mountains. The food retains the Mediterranean light, airy and delicate, full bodied and light. The perceptions, sensations and the emotions, which the place inspires, add a unique flavour to the food, which, at Il Bottaccio, has the quintessential qualities that turn professional catering into a form of art.
The D’Anna family entrusted Il Bottaccio to the Chef-Director Nino Mosca over 30 years ago, and has watched it grow with passion to become not only an institution, but a mecca for the devotees of fine Italian cuisine. In Nino there is the precious gift of equilibrium, acquired from years of dedication, experience and introspection, which permits him to blend a luminous creativity with the most profound roots of Italian tradition. The cuisine of Il Bottaccio is made not only of a physical, material food, but also of a much more subtle one – an invisible plankton made of perceptions, sensations, and emotions generated by the atmosphere and environment itself. This beauty, rhythm and poetry give the cuisine of the Bottaccio that unique quality that transports it from being a simple trade to an art.